Theosophical Encyclopedia

Katherine Tingley as I Knew Her

Boris de Zirkoff – USA

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Katherine Tingley, founder of Lomaland, at her desk

[written in 1979]

July 11, 1979, will mark the fiftieth anniversary of Katherine Tingley's "Passing into Light," after a long life dedicated to the service of humanity.

As is often the case with unusual people, her stature grows as her image recedes into the distant past. Misunderstood by some, violently opposed by others, misjudged by those whose materialism and ignorant conceit were challenged by her spiritual outlook on life, Katherine Tingley is slowly being recognized as an inspired leader of thought, and a witness to the undreamt of possibilities of the hidden powers in man.

Read more: Katherine Tingley as I Knew Her

A New Occasional Paper

Theosophical History Occasional Papers: Vol. XV: Revisiting Visionary Utopia: Katherine Tingley’s Lomaland 1898-1942: Exhibit and Archive Overview

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A new volume of Theosophical History Occasional Papers will be devoted to an overview of the Lomaland Community Theosophy exhibit held at the Special Collections Library at San Diego State University. The exhibit, Revisiting Visionary Utopia: Katherine Tingley’s Lomaland 1898–1942, has been ongoing since 2017, and will continue until 2020.

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Lomaland garden

The co-curators, Kenneth Small and Robert Ray, have assembled an extensive collection that includes original material from Emmett and Carmen Small (Mr. Small’s parents), Iverson and Helen Harris, Gordon Plummer, Marian Lester and other Lomaland residents. Original artwork by Lomaland resident artists, notably Reginald Machell, Edith White, Marian Lester, and Leonard Lester are featured. Documents from Theosophical luminaries, including co-founders Helena Blavatsky (1831–1891) and William Q. Judge (1851–1896) and Lomaland Leaders Katherine Tingley (1847–1929) and G. de Purucker (1874–1942) will be included.

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Lomaland, Roja Yoga Academy 

The exhibit includes memorabilia from drama, art, music and literature produced at Lomaland, residents’ letters and diaries, exhibit overviews of the community through photos and graphic art displays, recordings of Lomaland residents’ historical reflections and presentations on Theosophy and much more. Also, unique art works by Lomaland artists generously loaned from the San Diego History Center are displayed. A comprehensive finding aid is in process of being developed to make the exhibit accessible for students and scholars to study, with access to a comprehensive digital database.

The publication of the volume is planned for November 2019. It will contain a number of archival photos, documents, and letters from the Point Loma archives and selected examples of artwork by its members. The length will be approximately125 pages.

Publication will be in print form only. For information, please contact:

Dr. James Santucci

Department of Religious Studies

P.O. Box 6868

California State University

Fullerton, CA 92834-6868

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Read more: A New Occasional Paper

Foreword to Krishnamurti and the World Teacher Project

James Santucci – USA


Govert Schüller


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K. on Saturday August 3, 1929 in Ommen, the Netherlands, about to dissolve the Order of the Star

Go direct to Govert Schüller’s article, click HERE


[Summary:  This is the slightly revised “Foreword” to Govert Schüller’s Krishnamurti and the World Teacher Project: Some Theosophical Perceptions (Theosophical History Occasional Papers, Vol. V).  Fullerton: Theosophical History, 1997): i–xiii.  My purpose was to summarize the life of Jiddu Krishnamurti, to highlight his dissolution of the Order of the Star and the impact it had on the Theosophical Society, Mr. Schüller’s study of the reactions to JK’s persona and philosophy; the impact of Radha Rajagopal Sloss’s revelations detailed in her book, Lives in the Shadow with J. Krishnamurti; Theosophical reactions to Neo-Theosophy, to which the World Teacher Movement belonged, through both the “Back to Blavatsky” Movement and the Australian Theosophical Society Loyalty League; and finally the Gnostic origin of the  Theosophical teachings concerning the World Teacher.]*    *    *

                                       Clueless we go; but I have heard thy voice,

                                    Divine Unreason! harping in the leaves,

                                        And grieve no more; for wisdom never grieves,

                                            And thou hast taught me wisdom; I rejoice.

                                    (Aldous Huxley, The Cicadas)

On February 17, 1986, the life of one of the great teachers of the twentieth century, Jiddu Krishnamurti, came to an end. No teacher who claimed to give the Truth has done so in so unconventional a manner: so totally contrary to the expectations of his followers, so utterly confusing to his detractors. His was a life that approximated the mystique befitting the archetypal religious teacher. The story of his early life is now familiar to his followers: a portentous birth impressed by his psychic mother’s premonition that he, her eighth child, was someone who was not to be like other children1; the discovery of the adolescent by the clairvoyantly gifted Charles W. Leadbeater (1854–1934) who asserted that K.2 was to be overshadowed by a great Spiritual force in the person of Lord Maitreya, the World Teacher3; and the first hint of this Force manifesting itself, in Benares on the 28th of December (1911). Leadbeater described this occurrence in The Herald of the Star4 as 

Read more: Foreword to Krishnamurti and the World Teacher Project

Theosophy Cultural Perspectives

Kenneth Small and Robert Ray -- USA 

Revisiting Visionary Utopia - Katherine Tingley’s Lomaland

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 Kenneth Small and Robert Ray

Introduction - Kenneth Small

A series of serendipitous connections brought me to collaborate with Robert Ray, head of the Special Collections Library at San Diego State University (retired 2021), which resulted in ongoing exhibits centered on the Lomaland Theosophical Community beginning in 2016 through the spring of 2020. I was introduced to Robert Ray by Prof. Rebecca Moore, then chair of the religious studies department at SDSU in 2015.  This opened a period of collaboration and great creative effort on the part of special collections centered on the Lomaland community. The scope of our Lomaland and theosophical archive focused on the historical period from 1897-1942. Our extensive archival resources on the post 1942 Lomaland history, later theosophical resource materials and correspondence, theosophical and perennialism studies etc were viewed as outside the scope of these initial projects and maintained separately. Robert Ray and I decided to keep as a primary focus the culture of the Lomaland community and its creativity, values and internal culture and community/global influence. The Lomaland community’s events and Katherine Tingley’s more detailed, rather complex specific  history, we felt would come in future exhibits, studies and presentations and outside the scope of these initial cultural overview exhibits and presentations.  During the time period of these two exhibits, we hosted lectures by a variety of scholars, including Massimo Introvigne on Lomaland symbolist/visionary artist Reginald Machell; Dwayne Little, PhD, professor emeritus Point Loma Nazarene College on Katherine Tingley and Lomaland; Riain Ross-Hager on Lomaland resident and Welsh poet, Kenneth Morris; Kenneth Small on Raja Yoga Education, Art, Drama and Literature at Lomaland etc. It is our view that this broader understanding of Lomaland’s daily life, cultural and theosophical core values and ideals, sets the necessary stage for future more detailed examinations and presentations.

Read more: Theosophy Cultural Perspectives

Perennial Wisdom Resources Library and Archive project


A message from KENNETH SMALL, he’s also knocking on your door

Dear Friends,

We are seeking support and collaborative partners for our endeavor to establish a Perennial Wisdom Resources Library and Archive. The foundations of 'Perennialism' are rooted in the values of benefit for the common good within the context of the essential unity of the wisdom religions / philosophies as its basis. The manifestation of these perennialism qualities in culture and history are ever present and can be seen in a broad spectrum of transformative cultural events, from the European renaissance, to home rule and independence in modern India, to the influences and ideas that gave birth to the United Nations.  Greater presence  and access to this open spirit of inner inquiry and awakening is essential for our world today.

Read more: Perennial Wisdom Resources Library and Archive project

Japanese Buddhism

newark museum feature

Buddhism, both Theravada and Mahayana, was introduced into Japan in the middle of the 6th century, first from Korea and then from China. Initially, it was transmitted to the ruling class and attracted little attention from the general population, since it competed with the indigenous Shinto religion. When a temple complex was constructed in Nara, the capital at that time, and the central government promulgated the new religion, seeing in it a means for supporting their idea of a centralized nation-state, it began its popular spread. The government instituted a system for controlling the religion by establishing a state-supported monastery (kokobunji) and nunnery (kokobunniji) in every province and financing the construction of the Todai-ji Temple in Nara with its massive bronze image of Buddha seated in meditation. This time is known as the Nara Period (646-794). As Kazuo Kasahara writes, “Buddhism greatly impressed the Japanese with its beautiful rituals, elegantly inscribed sutras, monumental temples and pagodas, and splendid statues” (A History of Japanese Religion, p. 47). It also conveyed to the Japanese a level of culture which they had not previously known. Since six different schools of Buddhism — Hosso, Sanron, Kegon, Jojitsu, Kusha, and Ritsu — were introduced, the Japanese emphasized the “simultaneous study of all six schools,” seeking to understand their inner spirit as well as their outer form. The Hosso school taught the “consciousness only” (Sk. vijñaptimatrata) philosophy started in India by Arya Asanga and Vasubandhu. Sanron was the Japanese form of Pure Land Buddhism. Kegon was based on the Avatasaka (“Flower Garland”) Sutra (Kegon-kyo in Japanese) which taught that separateness is an illusion and all living things can become a Buddha. Jojitsu and Kusha were Theravada forms of Buddhist realism. Ritsu was based on the Theravada Abhidharmako sa.

Read more: Japanese Buddhism

The Aquarian Foundation


Introduction by Dr. James Santucci

Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies

California State University

Fullerton, CA 92834-6868

Cults generally possess negative connotations to the general public: consisting of adherents who follow false teachings, who engage in strange practices in its teachings, and who are incapable of pursuing a rational outlook on life. More precise, and less judgmental is the definition in R. Stark and W. S. Bainbridge's A THEORY OF RELIGION: "A cult is a deviant religious organization with novel beliefs and practices."  Although cults came to the attention of the public in the early 1960s, one organization that arose decades earlier was the Aquarian Foundation founded by Edward Arthur Wilson (1878–1938)—better known as Brother XII—a charismatic and brilliant exponent of teachings that reflected and in some ways advanced the Theosophical Movement. 

Read more: The Aquarian Foundation

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